Physicists Revving World’s Most Powerful Smashup

Yippie!
clipped from www.npr.org

Morning Edition, September 10, 2008 Physicists from around the world watched as the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, was tested early Wednesday. One physics lab even hosted a “pajama party.”

The $8 billion project is designed to smash subatomic particles together so that scientists can search through the wreckage for clues about the fundamental building blocks of matter that make up the universe.

Early Wednesday morning, scientists in Europe sent the first beam of protons zipping all the way around the collider’s 17-mile loop of tunnel, buried about 300 feet underground. The final countdown was announced in French, and then, almost immediately, there was applause. The protons move at close to the speed of light and took only a fraction of a second to go around.

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